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Jenni Carlson: Another big game for Kevin Durant

by Jenni Carlson Published: August 21, 2011
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“I don't want to hear nothing about Kevin Durant or ‘Thunder Up',” Harden told reporters before the game. “We're enemies.”

You have to love that these locked out NBA players are doing games like this. They are largely free events, open to the public. They are held in small venues, like the 1,500-seat gym that hosted Saturday's game. It's great for fans who might never have a chance to see these guys.

It's good, too, for the players to be in such competitive games. No better way to keep sharp during the lockout than to play.

And yet, all of this a reminder of what we might miss out on should this work stoppage not be resolved.

NBA training camps open in late September, a little over a month away. A new collective bargaining agreement would have to be done in the next couple weeks for that schedule to hold. Yet, there's no sign that the two sides plan to meet any time soon, much less that a deal is eminent.

This season is going to be delayed and likely cut short, if it happens at all.

That is a hard reality to swallow.

It's made even harder by what Durant has done this summer.

He has gone from superstar to darling in Oklahoma City. If you have big games in series-clinching contests in the playoffs, you take your stardom to another level. But if you go around saying things like “I let the city down” after a less-than-stellar performance, you endear yourself to this city forever.

That's what makes all these offseason exploits a little hard to handle.

So, keep doing your thing, KD. Keep scoring in bunches. Keep making YouTube highlights. Keep doing all those things that we've seen you do so many times.

Just know that the idea of not being able to see all of that here in Oklahoma City this season feels like one of those Rucker Park 3-pointers.

A dagger.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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